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campervanman

A Levels To Get More Difficult

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The penny has dropped. If everyone gets top marks then nobody gets top marks.






http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17588292

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Interesting. It's actually not a bad idea to get the people who use the tests to, set the tests. After all, A-Levels seem to be just a way of proving to universities what you can do.

I found this bit most interesting though:

[quote]
Sebastian Thrun, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Stanford, [b]recently opened his course up to anyone to take, no matter where they lived in the world.[/b]

A quarter of a million people took up his offer.

[b]"World-leading publications like Science and Nature are producing their own curricula and online textbook," the source says.

"Many pupils may decide that such courses offer them far more than [i]state-controlled exams of questionable value[/i]," he adds.[/b]

It will take time for the ramifications to be fully understood. There are those universities who have an excellent department catering for a particular subject but whose overall record is not matchless - they may feel peeved.

And there will be those at exam boards who will feel that universities do not know the first thing about the intricacies of testing students

There is one more thing: the secretary of state wants all of this to "make rapid progress". If you are due to take your A-levels in 2016, your exams may be a bit harder.
[/quote]

Khan Academy (in my sig) is another example of an online curriculum. It is essentially open source and free to use too. Ofc, donations are requested and tuition would be extra (should it be needed).

If people weren't forced to attend state schools, to do state sanctioned courses, I wonder how much better the education would be and how much less it would cost. Without having the free choice, it is hard to know the real cost the current system is imposing on us all.

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[quote name='Traktion' timestamp='1333442246' post='909005648']
Interesting. It's actually not a bad idea to get the people who use the tests to, set the tests. After all, A-Levels seem to be just a way of proving to universities what you can do.

I found this bit most interesting though:



Khan Academy (in my sig) is another example of an online curriculum. It is essentially open source and free to use too. Ofc, donations are requested and tuition would be extra (should it be needed).

If people weren't forced to attend state schools, to do state sanctioned courses, I wonder how much better the education would be and how much less it would cost. Without having the free choice, it is hard to know the real cost the current system is imposing on us all.
[/quote]

These donations required by the Khan Academy, do the larger ones not come with strings attached?!

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The whole one subject for one degree has often bothered me. After all, it's doubtful most will actually end up working in the field inside academia - and degrees rarely prepare you for working elsewhere.

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[quote name='campervanman' timestamp='1333440335' post='909005634']
The penny has dropped. If everyone gets top marks then nobody gets top marks.
[/quote]
We're already back to the levels of 30+ years ago.

That is to say, in my day 8% got the top grade (A), and today 8% get the top grade which has been re-labelled to A-star.

Either way 8% is an awful lot of pupils, and fails to distinguish the bright from the merely adequate in a generation.

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[quote name='PopGun' timestamp='1333443891' post='909005673']
These donations required by the Khan Academy, do the larger ones not come with strings attached?!
[/quote]

I don't think they currently have their own final exams (they have tests though), so it wouldn't be cash for grades either way. I've not heard of other influence via donations and I doubt they need to appeal to them. They are a non-profit organisation, born out of an idea to give free education, so ethically it would seem at odds.

I just noticed this on google from a few weeks ago:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57395106-93/tech-giants-back-effort-to-revolutionize-teaching/

[quote]
Sal Khan teaches math, science, and history to millions of students, but none has ever seen his face.

Khan is the voice and brains behind the Khan Academy--a free online tutoring site that was born out of a young cousin's struggles with algebra in 1994. His classroom has grown from a few hundred pupils to more than 4 million a month.

Khan, 35, believes he can transform education worldwide, and his approach is now being tested in American schools. Along the way, the former hedge fund analyst has won the support of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who calls Khan "a teacher of the world."

...
[/quote]

More at the link, including a video (EDIT: It's a good vid too!). Edited by Traktion

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[quote name='Traktion' timestamp='1333442246' post='909005648']
If people weren't forced to attend state schools, to do state sanctioned courses, I wonder how much better the education would be and how much less it would cost.
[/quote]

No one is forcing you to attend state schools There is the private sector and you can even be educated at home as long as you can prove the standard is up to the state level. You don't have to do O and A levels, you could do the international baccalaureate for example.

BTW When I were a lad many exam boards were associated with universities.

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[quote name='davidg' timestamp='1333456968' post='909005880']
No one is forcing you to attend state schools There is the private sector and you can even be educated at home as long as you can prove the standard is up to the state level. You don't have to do O and A levels, you could do the international baccalaureate for example.

BTW When I were a lad many exam boards were associated with universities.
[/quote]

I am forced to [i]pay[/i] for people to attend state schools, which is the key point. I can't choose to withhold that money and spend it on educating my own child through other means instead.

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[quote name='Traktion' timestamp='1333458237' post='909005902']
I am forced to [i]pay[/i] for people to attend state schools, which is the key point. I can't choose to withhold that money and spend it on educating my own child through other means instead.
[/quote]

Wasn't there a strange Penelope Keith vehicle sitcom in the late 80s where she was a minister or something which had a whole episode on the impossibility of hypothecation?

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